A Few Points to Alleviate Covid-19 Anxiety in Children

Parents, family members and other trusted adults have a shared responsibility in helping children understand the pandemic in a way that minimizes anxiety and fear. The following suggestions will help you talk to children about the current situation.

1. Eliminate anxiety-related language from your vocabulary; replace words like panic, fear, catastrophe with language like help, measures, precautions.

2. Be truthful by addressing children’s fear: Use age-appropriate explanations. Children are intuitive and sense that something is amiss; acknowledgement and explanations should be age appropriate; limiting doses of information rather than overwhelming children in details.

3. Monitor your mood; kids can read adults’ stress, fear, anxiety and will experience same.

4. Stay in the present moment; steer away from predicting the future and imagining the worst; use storytelling, drawing, music, art and mindful exercises to express and mediate emotions.

5. Create a routine; promotes a sense of security, alleviates stress and provides kids with an activity or task they can look forward too.

6. Use this opportunity to develop your child’s resilience; children are remarkable in their ability to adjust to change. Point out a few positive aspects of quarantine that include time for family to be closer, cook, eat and play together.

7. Understand that children will be called upon to experience self-awareness, collaboration, social awareness, resilience and growth mindset during this pandemic. This is an important skill set needed to cultivate success in life.